Growing cucumbers is quite easy so those new to gardening will enjoy raising this fruit. Here are the basic steps needed to cultivate it.
Where to Plant Cucumber
Pick a site where it can get exposed to the sun all day long. You’ll only need to put shades on if you’re living in a hot, dry place. The proper soil pH level is 6.0 or 7.0. Start planting when the soil and air temperatures reach 65 degrees F. You should also plant at least two weeks after the last frost.
Planting the Seeds
Dig a deep hole for each seed. Mix compost and rotted manure to fortify the soil. Sow the seeds into the hole. The germination process will begin in 3 to 10 days.
When growing cucumbers remember the following: warmer soil will result in faster germination. For vining varieties, the planting space should be 3 feet. The bush types need about 18 inches of space.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Fish emulsion fertilizers should be applied a month after germination. You can also apply it after side dressing with the compost. Add some mulch once the plants have been established. This will fortify the soil and keep the weeds out. It also preserves moisture in the ground.
The water needs are about an inch per week. A little bit more water is required when the plants start to flower and bear fruit. Removing the weeds is essential but you need to be careful. Do not go in too deep because you might end up damaging the roots.
After growing cucumbers, you can pick them off when they get ripe. For the pickling varieties, wait until they get to 4 inches. For the slices, wait until they’re between 6 to 8 inches long. Don’t be in a hurry to pluck them out because the fruit will be bitter. Also remember that vining cucumbers should be grown on trellises. This setup allows for better air flow.
Keeeping Diseases and Pests Away
Growing them on trellises is one of the best ways to prevent diseases. Because they’re not sprawled, there’s less chance of insects coming around it. This also helps ensure that fruits grow straighter and are more abundant.
Growing in Containers
If you’re interested in growing cucumbers in containers, pick smaller variants. These include bush variants like Salad Bush and Spacemaster. Use a pot that is 8” wide and a foot deep. The potting soil must be enriched with compost. There must also be drainage in the pot.
Water it regularly and apply the fertilizers every two weeks. The fertilizer should be composed of fish emulsion and manure tea.
For full size cucumbers, give them plenty of space. They can easily reach 6 feet. If there isn’t enough space, you should train it against a wall. A sandy loam soil will also help ensure consistent growth. Planting them in 6” raised beds also helps with their growth.
Because growing cucumbers is clear-cut, it’s become a popular choice among those new to planting. If you try it out, you’ll see that it is as simple as it seems.